Football loses to Wofford

Cameron Yaw made three field goals against Wofford.

Allison Hubbard
Sports Writer

The Samford Bulldogs fell 38-23 to eighth-ranked Wofford after putting up a hard fight on Saturday in Spartanburg, S.C.

With the loss, the Bulldogs drop to 1-2 overall and 0-2 in the Southern Conference, while the Terriers improve to 2-1 on the season and 1-0 in conference play.

Although head coach Pat Sullivan does give Wofford’s team credit for the win, he believes Samford’s instincts needs to get better to improve their record.

“Wofford is good at what they do and they have good players,” Sullivan said. “There’s a reason they are ranked in the top 10 in the nation. We played well in spots, but we still made some mistakes. We have to find a way to get a killer instinct.”

On offense, senior quarterback and business major Dustin Taliaferro led the Bulldogs with 231 yards, completing 25-of-41 and a touchdown. Sophomore receiver Kelsey Pope also scored a touchdown while accumulating 96 yards on eight receptions in the game.

Junior linebacker Durell Hill, a pharmacy major, led the defense with seven tackles, one of those for a loss. Senior family studies major, Devyn Keith recovered a fumble for the Bulldogs.

“When it comes to making any type of play in football,” Keith said, “it’s a combination of great play calling, your teammates doing their job, and you doing yours and sometimes even a little luck. Any turn over, no matter when or where is big for a team.”

Samford jumped out with an early lead with a 29-yard field goal on the first drive from junior nursing major Cameron Yaw. The Terriers answered with a two-yard run touchdown on their first possession. The extra point gave them a 7-3 lead.

Samford narrowed the gap on their second drive of the game when Yaw added another field goal from 30 yards out to cut Wofford’s lead to just one point at 7-6 at the end of the first quarter.

The Bulldogs took back the lead on their first possession of the second quarter with a three-yard run touchdown from Pope.

In the second quarter, Wofford added a 26-yard field goal and a 56-yard touchdown run to take the lead 17-13. However, Yaw got another Samford field goal from 47-yards out as time ran out to go into halftime. At the half, the Bulldogs were trailing by just one point at 17-16.

Yaw was pleased with his team’s performance during the first half, but felt that the Bulldogs’ performance could have been better during the last half.

“The first half we played excellent ball,” Yaw said. “We executed what we wanted to execute and everybody did their job. Going into the half we felt good about everything, but coming out of the half, we came out limp. We made adjustments at the half on their running game, and we didn’t execute that like we should have.”

On their first drive of the second half, Wofford scored off of an eight-yard run. The PAT gave them a 24-16 lead. The Terriers scored again on their next drive to widen their advantage to 31-16.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Taliaferro connected with Pope for a 61-yard Samford touchdown to make the score 31-23.

However, that would not be enough to take back the game. Wofford found the end zone again before the final whistle to make the final score 38-23.

Although the Bulldogs did not walk away with the win, they did come away with a new appreciation for their fans and the support they receive at home.

“In my eyes and with all do respect,” Keith said, “Wofford’s [atmosphere] doesn’t compare to the support we receive at home, and I feel as though we have to work even harder now to show our gratitude to our fans by simply winning.”

Samford will take on Gardner-Webb, a member of the Big South Conference, on Oct. 1 at home. This game is set to kick off at 2 p.m. CST.

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